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What happens when the photographer becomes the model?

It’s not often that us photographers get to stand on the other side of the camera and take centre stage as the model. But last weekend it was my turn! It’s something I’ve been meaning to do for a while and here’s what happened…

Finding a photographer

OK, so admittedly it wasn’t a huge search for a photographer. I already had someone in mind – my long-suffering hubby - but he needed a little persuasion! Once he was on board with the idea of being a stand-in photographer and I’d given him heaps of photography tips, the prep began.

Choosing a location

So much choice! I’ve personally tried and tested many Auckland spots for my family sessions. From the cascading waterfalls at Oakley Reserve to scenic walks at Wendeholm Park, there is something for every photo shoot in and around Auckland. Eventually, I settled on Piha for its dramatic coastline and scenic views.

Nothing to wear!

I get so many messages from customers asking about outfit choices and now I can truly say – I understand! What a drama it is choosing that ‘perfect’ outfit for your photo shoot. I had every dress and outfit out of my wardrobe and let’s just say that there were a few fashion shows in my home that day as I enlisted the advice of my family members. After much deliberation, I settled on a stylish, romantic, feminine, flowing dress complete with boots and a cowboy hat to highlight my adventurous side. I knew the backdrop at Piha would be dried, yellow grass so I wanted a colour that complemented this – dusty pink does this beautifully, so this was my colour of choice.

Ready, set, go…

After loading up the car with my mobile photography equipment complete with a pop-up wardrobe, Bongo the dog and not to forget the three children, we headed west to Piha. On the journey, I contemplated all the photos we would make that day… the poses I’d adopt and the way the final photos would look. In many ways, it’s like the process of movie-making; long before the filming begins, the script is written and sketches of how all the scenes will look are drawn out. By the time we arrived, I already had the photos in my head.

Act natural!

Hey guys, this part is harder than it seems! Luckily for me, my hubby was the one behind the lens so I soon relaxed into the shoot and we captured lots of photos. This photography session, however, has made me realise just how important it is to get to know your photographer before the photo shoot. It’s much easier to act natural and capture those all-important candid shots when you feel comfortable in the presence of your photographer. I encourage you to meet and chat with your photographer before your photo session, even if it’s just a virtual meeting.

Do you like the photos?

I’m super happy with how these photos turned out. All our prep and effort paid off and I’m now the proud owner of my own on-location memories. My photos are proof that when all the pieces of the puzzle are put together well – location, timing of the shoot, clothing, and poses – the results are breathtaking. Do you agree?

What have I learned from my personal photo shoot?

I’ve learned that it’s important to stop once in a while and put myself in my customer’s shoes. Empathy and the ability to put people at ease is so important in this job. Doing this photo session has helped me improve my personal photography journey, strengthening my photography skills.

I love photographing your memories, and I’m here to listen to what you want to achieve from your photo shoot.


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